Bridgestone South Africa

Firestone Caltex Amatola Reg Rally

Aug 11, 2010

The husband and wife team of Schalk and Susan van Niekerk, driving a Saab 9-5, won the inaugural Caltex Amatola Regularity Rally in the Eastern Cape on Sunday. Their winning score of just 13 seconds penalties over a 380-km route that included 29 time control points was an outstanding achievement.

The one-day event, which started and finished in Queenstown, was the sixth round of the South African Regularity Rally Association's Firestone Legendary Drives series. It resurrected the name of a famous national car rally that started in the late 1950s and was renowned as a tough 1 000-mile challenge over a 24-hour period.

Second were Chris Andrew and Mike Altona of the Pretoria Motor Club in a 1981 BMW 635 (27 seconds penalties) ahead of SARRA's Syd Brett and Adri van den Berg (1977 Jaguar XJ6) with 41 penalties. Andrew, who has won three of the six rallies so far this year, has consolidated his lead in the drivers" points standings and Brett moves up from third to second.

Mike Newlands and Ivor Floyd of the Albany Vintage Car and Motorcycle Club finished fourth in a 1975 Alfa Romeo Spyder, SARRA's Nadine and Craig Naude were fifth in a Honda FRV and Robin Ross and Roger Manton of SARRA were sixth in a 1974 Ford Cortina V6.

A total of 23 classic car and other motor sport enthusiasts came from as far afield as Gauteng and the Western Cape with the bulk of the entries drawn from the Eastern Cape. The oldest car was a 1957 Austin Healey 100/6 crewed by Kevin and Patti Cruz of the Queenstown Auto Club, who finished 13th overall.

The route took competitors on tarred roads from Queenstown to Cathcart, Stutterheim, over the Amatola mountains to King Williams Town, Alice, Fort Beaufort and back to Queenstown via the Nico Malan Pass and the little town of Whittlesea.

The next round of the SARRA Firestone Legendary Drives regularity rally series is the Forkman Rally in Gauteng on August 29. It is also the fifth round of the Total Blind Navigators Rally Championship.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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